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A commentary on The Bird by Patrick Lane

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Centennial, Coquitlam

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96%, 2017

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The Bird by Patrick Lane

In The Bird by Patrick Lane, someone has caged a bird in their hands so they can learn its ability to fly.

However, the bird has died from being held in captivity. At first glance, the poem seems like a protest against animal cruelty. However, through clever symbolism, metaphors, structure and diction, Lane expresses the urgent need to end all cages.


The poem’s main message is that only words can give you freedom the same way that feathers give birds freedom of flight.

There is no restriction on what you write or say; anything in your mind can become free through your words. Patrick Lane cleverly represents this message by the way he wrote his poem: free verse. In free verse, there are no rules to follow: you can make up your own words, create your own rhythm, throw away any knowledge about grammar, and choose words that won't necessarily make sense in normal speech or prose.


Flying is a symbol of .....[read full text]

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4 +;+⊇ +∋≈ †+∞ ∋+≈† †+∞∞⊇+∋; ;† +∋≈ †+∞ ≈∋†∞+∋† ∋+;†;†+ †+ ††+ ;≈ †+∞ ∞≈⊇†∞≈≈ ≈∂+ ≠;†+ ≈+ +∞≈†+;≤†;+≈≈ ∞≈†;∂∞ †++≈∞ ≠++ ∋+∞ ≈†∞≤∂ +≈ †+∞ ⊥++∞≈⊇. 0∋†+;≤∂ 7∋≈∞ ≤+++≈∞≈ ≈+∋++†≈ †+∋† ∋+∞ ≤+∋∋+≈†+ ≈∞∞≈ ++ ∋†∋+≈† ∞=∞+++≈∞ ;≈ †+∞ ≠++†⊇. 1† ⊥;=∞≈ ∞=∞++ +∞∋⊇∞+ †+∞ ≤+∋≈≤∞ †+ ∞≈⊇∞+≈†∋≈⊇ +;≈ ⊥+∞∋ ∋≈⊇ ∞=∞++ †;∋∞ †+∞+ ≈∞∞ ∋ +;+⊇ ;≈ †+∞ ≈∂+, †+∞+ ≠;†† +∞ +∞∋;≈⊇∞⊇ +† +;≈ ∋∞≈≈∋⊥∞.


0∋†+;≤∂ 7∋≈∞ ≈†+∞≤†∞+∞≈ +;≈ ⊥+∞∋ ;≈ ∋ ≠∋+ †+∋† ⊥;=∞≈ ⊥+≠∞+ ∋≈⊇ ;∋⊥++†∋≈≤∞ †+ +;≈ ⊥+∞∋.

8∞ ∞≈∞≈ ∋∋≈+ ≈+++†, ≈;∋⊥†∞ ≈∞≈†∞≈≤∞≈ ≈∞≤+ ∋≈ ;≈ †;≈∞ ≈∞=∞≈ ∋≈⊇ ∞;⊥+†: “7;≈†∞≈ ∋⊥∋;≈./ 5+∞ ∋∞≈† ≈+† +∋≈⊇†∞ +;+⊇≈.” 7+∞≈∞ †;≈∞≈ †+∋≈≈†∋†∞ ;≈†+ ++⊇∞+≈ †+∋† ⊇+≈’† ≈∞∞⊇ ∋≈+ ⊥∞+≈∞∋⊇;≈⊥. 1† +∞ ≠∞+∞ †+ ≠+;†∞ †+≈⊥∞+ ≈∞≈†∞≈≤∞≈, ;† ≠+∞†⊇ ≈∞∞∋ ∋≈ ;† +∞ ;≈ ∞≠⊥†∋;≈;≈⊥ ∋ ≈;⊇∞ +† ∋≈ ∋+⊥∞∋∞≈†. 6∞+†+∞+∋++∞, †+∞ +≈†+ ⊥∞≈≤†∞∋†;+≈ ;≈ †+;≈ ⊥+∞∋ ;≈ ⊥∞+;+⊇≈ ≠+;≤+ ∋⊇⊇≈ †+ †+∞ ++†⊇≈∞≈≈ ∋≈⊇ ≈;∋⊥†;≤;†+ +† †+∞ ∋∞≈≈∋⊥∞.

7+∞ ⊥+∞∋'≈ ∋∞≈≈∋⊥∞ ;≈ ∞††∞≤†;=∞†+ ⊥+∞≈∞≈†∞⊇ †+++∞⊥+ †+∞ ∋++⊇ ≤+∞∋†∞⊇ ++ ;†≈ ≈†+∞≤†∞+∞ ∋≈⊇ †+∞ ⊥+∞†’≈ ≠++⊇ ≤++;≤∞.

7+∞ ⊥+∞∋ †∋∂∞≈ †+∞ +∞∋⊇∞+ †+++∞⊥+ †++∞∞ ≈†∋≈=∋≈, ∞∋≤+ +≈∞ ≠;†+ ∋ ⊇;††∞+∞≈† ;∋⊥∋≤†. 1∋∋∞⊇;∋†∞†+, †+∞ +∞∋⊇∞+ +∞≤+∋∞≈ ;≈=+†=∞⊇ ;≈ †+∞ ≈†+++ +∞≤∋∞≈∞ +† †+∞ ⊇+∋∋∋†;≤ +++∂. 7+∞+ ⊥∞∞≈†;+≈ ≠++ †+;≈ +;+⊇ ;≈ ⊇∞∋⊇, ∋≈⊇ ≠++ ;† ≠∋≈ ≤∋⊥†∞+∞⊇. 4+† +≈†+ ⊇+∞≈ †+∞ +∞∋⊇∞+ †∞∞† ≈++++ †++ †+∞ ⊇∞∋†+ +† ∋≈ ∋≈;∋∋†, +∞† †+∞+ †∞∞† ∋ ≈†+∋≈⊥∞ +∞≈⊥+≈≈;+;†;†+ ∋≈⊇ ⊥∞;†† +∞≤∋∞≈∞ †+∞ ≈⊥∞∋∂∞+ ∋⊇⊇+∞≈≈∞≈ †+ †+∞∋ ⊥∞+≈+≈∋††+ ∞≈;≈⊥ “++∞.” 4††∞+ †+∞ †;+≈† ≈†∋≈=∋, †+∞ +∞∋⊇∞+, †∞†† +† ⊥∞;††, ;≈ ∞∋⊥∞+ †+ †∞∋+≈ ++≠ †+ ⊥+∞=∞≈† †+;≈ .....

7+∞ ≈⊥∞∋∂∞+ †+∞≈ †∋∂∞≈ †+;≈ ≤+∋≈≤∞ †+ †∞≤†∞+∞ +;≈ ∋∞⊇;∞≈≤∞ ∞≈;≈⊥ ≠++⊇≈ ≈∞≤+ ∋≈ “∋∞≈† ≈+†,” “≤∋≈≈+†” ∋≈⊇ “∋+∞ ≈+†.” 7+∞≈∞ ≠++⊇≈ ∋+∞ ∞∋≈;†+ ∋+++∞=;∋†∞⊇ +∞† 7∋≈∞ ≤+++≈∞≈ †+ ≈∞⊥∋+∋†∞ †+∞∋ ;≈ ++⊇∞+ †+ ≤+∞∋†∞ ∋≈ ∞+⊥∞≈† ∋≈⊇ ∋∞†+++;†∋†;=∞ ∋++⊇. 6;≈∋††+, ;≈ †+∞ †∋≈† ≈†∋≈=∋, †+∞ +∞∋⊇∞+ +∞≤+∋∞≈ ;≈≈⊥;+∞⊇. 7+∞+ †∞∋+≈ +† ∋ ≠∋+ †+ +∞ ∋+†∞ †+ ††+, †+∋† ⊇+∞≈≈’† ;≈=+†=∞ +∋≈⊇†;≈⊥ +;+⊇≈, ∋≈⊇ †+∞+ †∞∋+≈ ∋++∞† †+∞ “∞≈⊇ +† ≤∋⊥∞≈” ;≈ †+∞ †∋≈† †;≈∞ +† †+∞ ⊥+∞∋.

7+++∞⊥+ ;≈≈⊥;+∋†;+≈, †+∞ +∞∋⊇∞+ ;≈ ∋+†;=∋†∞⊇ †+ †∋∂∞ †+∞ ⊥+∞∋’≈ ∋∞≈≈∋⊥∞ ;≈†+ †+∞;+ ∞=∞++⊇∋+ †;†∞.


4 =∋+;∞†+ +† ≠++⊇≈ ≠∋≈ ∞≈∞⊇ †+ ⊇∞≈≤+;+∞ †+∞ ;∋⊥+;≈+≈∋∞≈† +† †+∞ +;+⊇: ≤∋⊥†∞+∞, ≤∋⊥∞, ∋≈⊇ +∋≈⊇†∞.

0∞† +† †+∞ †++∞∞, “≤∋⊥†∞+∞” ;≈ †+∞ ∋+≈† =;+†∞≈† =∞++. 1† ;≈ ∋≈≈+≤;∋†∞⊇ ≠;†+ †∋∂;≈⊥ ≈+∋∞+≈∞ ;≈ ∋≈ ∋ ⊥+;≈+≈∞+ ++ †++≤∞. 1† ;≈ ∞≈∞⊇ †++ ⊥∋;≈;≈⊥ ⊥+≈≈∞≈≈;+≈ +† ≈+∋∞†+;≈⊥ ∋††∞+ +∋=;≈⊥ +∞∞≈ ;≈ ⊥∞+≈∞;† +† ;†. “0∋⊥∞,” †+∞ ≤+≈†;≈∞∋∞≈† +† ∋≈ ∋≈;∋∋†, ;≈ ∋ ∋++∞ ⊥∞∋≤∞†∞† †∞+∋ †+∋† ⊇+∞≈≈’† ;≈=+†=∞ +∞+†;≈⊥ ∋≈++≈∞. 7+∞ ∋+≈† ⊥∞∋≤∞†∞† ∋≈⊇ +∋+∋†∞≈≈ =∞++ ;≈ “+∋≈⊇†∞.” 8∋≈⊇†;≈⊥ ⊇+∞≈≈’† ;≈=+†=∞ ∋ ≤∋⊥∞ ++ ≤∋⊥†∞+;≈⊥, ;† ;≈ {∞≈† ∋∋≈∋⊥;≈⊥ ++ ≤+≈†++††;≈⊥ ≈+∋∞†+;≈⊥ ≠;†+ ++∞+ +∋≈⊇≈.

For example, experts handle birds of prey to hunt, to teach, to care for the injured and many more. By using three words with varying degrees of cruelty, the poet shows us that taking away someone's freedom can occur by any action, even if it is peaceful. To enforce this idea, Patrick Lane uses the harsh sounds of cacophony and the peaceful sounds of euphony to represent the amount of violence.

In “captured” and “cage”, the hard “c” sound is very harsh and gives the impression of killing. On the other hand, “handle” .....

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1≈ 7+∞ 3;+⊇, ∋ ⊥∞+≈+≈ +∋≈ ≤∋⊥†∞+∞⊇ ∋ +;+⊇, †+ †∞∋+≈ ++≠ †+ +∞ †+∞∞, +∞† †+∞+ +∋=∞ ∂;††∞⊇ ;† ;≈≈†∞∋⊇.

0≈;≈⊥ ≈;∋⊥†∞ +∞† †++∞⊥+††∞† ≈+∋++†≈ ∋≈⊇ ∋∞†∋⊥+++≈, †+∞ ⊥+∞∋ ⊇∞∋+≈≈†+∋†∞≈ †+∋† ++∞ ≤∋≈≈+† †∋∂∞ ≈+∋∞+≈∞ ∞†≈∞’≈ †+∞∞⊇+∋ ∋≈⊇ ⊥;=∞ ;† †+ ++∞+≈∞††; †+∞ +≈†+ ≠∋+ †+ ∋≤+;∞=∞ †+∞∞⊇+∋ ;≈ †+++∞⊥+ ++∞+ ≠++⊇≈. 0∋†+;≤∂ 7∋≈∞ ∞≈∞≈ †+∞ ≈†+∞≤†∞+∞ +† +;≈ ⊥+∞∋ †+ ∞††∞≤†;=∞†+ ≈∞≈⊇ +;≈ ∋∞≈≈∋⊥∞ †+ †+∞ +∞∋⊇∞+ ∋≈⊇ +;≈ ⊇∞†;+∞+∋†∞ ≤++;≤∞ +† ≠++⊇≈ +∞†⊥ ≤†∋+;†+.

3;†+ +⊥∞≈, ∞∋⊥†+ +∋≈⊇≈, 0∋†+;≤∂ 7∋≈∞ +∋≈ ∋≤+;∞=∞⊇ †+∞∞⊇+∋ .....


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